Friday, August 8, 2008

Week of Olympic protests

A group denouncing China's censors made an on-air challenge to the Beijing Olympics on Friday in a week of protests, and a deadly attack in the far west.

* Aug 4 - Suspected Islamist separatists kill 16 police in China's restive far-west Xinjiang region, an attack the government said was aimed at disrupting the Games.

* Aug 5 - U.S. speedskater and Olympic gold medallist Joey Cheek, co-founder of Team Darfur group of athletes that campaigns for an end to the crisis in Sudan's Darfur region, says China has revoked his visa so he will not attend the Games.

* Aug 6 - Four foreign Tibet activists scale power poles near the Bird's Nest National Stadium and unfurl Tibet independence banners, as the Olympic torch makes its way through the streets of Beijing.

-- Police detain the activists, two Britons and two Americans. They are deported the following day.

-- Three prominent Chinese activists are blocked from entering Hong Kong, the venue for Olympic equestrian events.

-- A small group of U.S. Christians stage a brief protest for religious freedom on Beijing's central Tiananmen Square before being briefly detained.

* Aug 7 - About 2,000 Tibetans and their Nepali supporters take part in peaceful protests in Kathmandu, calling for the release of Tibetan monks and nuns jailed in China.

-- Three U.S. Christians return to Tiananmen Square and hold a brief news conference and prayer vigil before being dragged off on their knees by plain clothes security.

* Aug 8 - Paris-based press watchdog Reporters Without Borders broadcasts an on-air challenge to China's censors and urge the release of political prisoners.

-- In Hong Kong, a lone protester unfurls banners calling for respect for human rights in China on the southern city's largest suspension bridge.

Source: Reuters


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